A farm-assured Olympics, statement issued by National Farmers Union, 8 December 2009
UK farmers and growers will play a major role at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games following news that the majority of food will carry the Red Tractor food assurance mark.
Announcing its 2012 'Food Vision', the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games committed itself to the most sustainable games in history, with the use of UK Red Tractor-assured food wherever seasonally possible.
The NFU has represented the industry in discussions with LOCOG since the start of the year and is a member of the London 2012 Food Advisory Group and two sub-committees.
LOCOG's backing for Red Tractor means that all meat, dairy products and - where seasonally or realistically available - fruit, veg, salads and cereals will be UK-farmed and grown, traceable and produced to strict standards. Eggs must show the British Lion mark and be free range.
Imported foods must also be traceable and products such as bananas, tea, coffee or sugar will be Fairtrade. All chocolate will also be Fair Trade or ethically sourced.
In addition, the organisers will ask suppliers to consider how a proportion of food can meet their 'aspirational standard', which includes the use of organic and free-range produce carrying the RSPCA Freedom Food or LEAF certification.
During the games, 14 million meals will be served at 31 venues to 23,900 athletes and team officials, 20,600 broadcasters and press and a workforce of 160,000. In the Olympic Village alone that means 232 tonnes of potatoes, 31 tonnes of poultry, more than 100 tonnes of meat, 75,000 litres of milk and around 330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables.
NFU President Peter Kendall said: "It's extremely good news that the work of UK farmers and growers has been recognised and will play a significant role providing 14 million high quality meals during games. Committing to procure UK Red Tractor assured food wherever seasonally possible delivers on LOCOG's promise to provide fresh, quality food for all at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. It is often described as 'the largest peace-time catering operation in the world'. Never before has such a large scale catering contract had such sustainable procurement."